February 2, 2010 - Issue: Vol. 156, No. 15 — Daily Edition111th Congress (2009 - 2010) - 2nd Session
IN HONOR OF BISHOP DR. AUDREY F. BRONSON; Congressional Record Vol. 156, No. 15
(Extensions of Remarks - February 02, 2010)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E131-E132] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] IN HONOR OF BISHOP DR. AUDREY F. BRONSON ______ HON. JOE SESTAK of pennsylvania in the house of representatives Tuesday, February 2, 2010 Mr. SESTAK. Madam Speaker, the great Marian Anderson once said, ``Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.'' In recognition of her investiture as the first woman President of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, I would like to honor an extraordinary individual who personifies the ``understanding leader'' Ms. Anderson described, Bishop Dr. Audrey F. Bronson. At the age of 14, this remarkable woman was called to begin her vocation as a preacher. In 1975, she was inspired to establish the Sanctuary Church of the Open Door serving the community of West Philadelphia. In September 1978, the successful Sanctuary Christian Academy was founded to produce students skilled in reading, writing, mathematics, language arts and computer science. Other ministries at the church include Sanctuary Bible Institute; Sanctuary Family Resource Center and Referral Service; Sanctuary Christian Day Camp; Dunlap Apartment Complex; and Sanctuary Outreach Ministries. Bishop Bronson's spirituality, extraordinary intellect and selfless nature reflect the nurturing of her loving and learned parents and brother. Her father, Dr. Uriah Perry Bronson, was a minister and pastor of churches and principal of several schools in Florida. Her mother and step-mother were both teachers and church workers. Her brother, Dr. Oswald P. Bronson, a United Methodist minister, was pastor of several churches and President of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He recently retired as President, Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach, Florida and currently serves as President, Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Bronson received her bachelor of science degree in elementary education from [[Page E132]] Cheyney University; she also holds a master's degree in psychology from Howard University where she also became a candidate for a Ph.D. in psychology. She earned a doctor of ministry degree from New York Theological Seminary. She holds two honorary degrees from Bethune- Cookman College and a doctor of humane letters from the National Theological Seminary and College. Upon completion of her studies, Dr. Bronson returned to Cheyney in 1967 where she taught for 17 years as an associate professor of psychology. Since retiring from that position to devote her full energies to her growing church, she continues to be a valued member of the Cheyney family. Her many other appointments include: Dean of the Philadelphia Urban Education Institute, a subsidiary of the African American Interdenominational Ministries, Inc. (AAIM, Inc.) of Philadelphia in association with the major seminaries of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Member of the Board of One Church, One Child, Inc., of Pennsylvania, a statewide organization that encourages members of African-American Churches to adopt African-American children. She was a member of the Mayor of Philadelphia's Transition Team and currently serves on the board of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the Executive Committee of the Association of Theological Schools. Dr. Bronson's faith has led her to minister in prisons; serve as a block captain; work to rid the community of drugs and violence; feed the hungry; and keep her church doors open seven days a week. She is a tireless agent of change ideally qualified to lead the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity to new heights as it strives to ``help the downtrodden'' and those ``pushed aside.'' In many ways, Dr. Bronson has been fulfilling this calling all her life. Early in the HIV/AIDS crisis, when some churches were turning away those afflicted with the disease, Dr. Bronson called on her fellow clergy members to accept those stricken by this terrible disease and to offer education and testing in their communities, a mission she plans on continuing in her new post. Madam Speaker, I ask that this House acknowledge Bishop Dr. Audrey F. Bronson, as a testament to Marian Wright Edelman's observation that: ``education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.'' Bishop Bronson's life of preaching, learning and teaching has made her a pillar of strength, wisdom, and civic spirit. She has empowered countless African-American families to live fuller, more purposeful lives through their faith in God and one another. With her new responsibilities at the helm of one of the premier spiritual collectives in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, her ability to guide, counsel and inspire across an entire metropolitan region is very welcome news. Particularly during these very difficult times, she is the perfect ``watchman on the wall.'' ____________________